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This Inspires Me: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga - "But Beautiful"




This Inspires Me: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga - "But Beautiful"

Tami Inoue

I think it's because I clicked into this video right after I'd watched an interview she'd had with Howard Stern (Yep, I watch Howard Stern interviews from time to time).  I think I liked this for a lot of reasons...and it surprised even me.  You see, if it's possible to be the opposite of a fan, that's what I've been of Lady Gaga.  Not quite a hater...but DEFINITELY not a fan. Everything that is Lady Gaga has always overshadowed any quality of music she may produce (in my opinion)...and although I can appreciate some corner of her love of artistic flare, that corner was very small in my heart. ;) But with all my dislike for her, I've always thought she was a great singer...really amazing actually, but didn't understand why she was hiding it with everything else.  

Sidenote: I find myself on really useless soapboxes from time to time and when it came to Gaga, it usually began with, "Don't even get me started..."

Aaaaany-way, a couple weeks ago, I was in line at Starbucks and picked up the CD she'd made with Tony Bennett to glance over the songs. I've always loved a great crooner; Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Michael Buble...and of course, Tony Bennett.  I wondered why he'd chosen to do the album with her, and I'm pretty sure I chalked it up to his publicist wanting to keep him relevant.  

BUT, it intrigued me enough that I looked up an interview...which lead me to Howard Stern, which lead me to this video.  

This inspires me because it's really scary to reinvent yourself as an artist.  I think the common reinvention we so often see is the ol' "coming of age" change where the result is to become more produced, more sexualized, and to make more money.  In the album, Lady Gaga has actually done quite the opposite...and I find it to be amazing, beautiful, and inspiring.  I'm sure she's making money from this project, but I believe her when she says she's not motivated by money when it comes to her least, not anymore. 

In the interview, Howard asked Lady Gaga about her friendship with Mr. Bennett...and she said he was one of the first and only men she'd worked with who was nothing but a complete gentleman to her.  I think she said (I'm paraphrasing),

“I’m so adamant about defending our friendship because he is the first producer in the studio I’d worked with who wanted nothing but my friendship and talent. He’s more than a father or grandfather figure to me, he’s my friend.”

She strongly hints at awful and dark times in her career when men exploited the power they had in horrific ways, so when she talks about Tony Bennett, he reminded me of that character in a movie that you hope shows up in the end. 

Apparently, Mr. Bennett paints, and at one point in this video, you see him hand her a picture, and I like to think it's a picture he's painted.  

I just really love this video (and this new side to Gaga) because it reveals raw talent, very touching emotion, and showcasing great music.  You may not like it...but I did, and it inspired me to really become great at my gift, that vulnerability is really touching, and to celebrate the real gentlemen in my life who have always shown up for me.